CTAHR Waimānalo Ag Research Station
Dr. Ted Radovich and Steven Chiang took us on a tour of the CTAHR Waimānalo Ag. Research Station and discussed about the GoFarm program. The program is designed to provide students with practical skills and the knowledge necessary to become a successful agricultural entrepreneur. Here students are able to be mentored and learn through there own experience. “It’s not an easy course,” said Chiang, “out of a hundred people about 5 or 6 will finish the entire program.” At the completion of the GoFarm program students will gain the necessary tools in their belt to operate a small agricultural business in Hawaii.
Auntie Leinaʻala Bright: Waimānalo’s Community Healer
Auntie Leina’ala Bright is not just your local resident in the small town of Waimānalo. She is the proud manager of the Waimānalo Coop located at the former Mel’s Market. It opened its doors in November of 2013 and everything in the store is locally grown or made with 80% of farmers from the Waimānalo community. The store has everything from fruits to healing herbs and lotions. If you are looking for something uniquely local to Hawaii this is one of the stops you need to make.
Why does Yang get invited to all the parties? Cuz he’s a FUNGI!
What do you get when you combine a meteorologist who invented a dental tool and runs a bed and breakfast on the North Shore? An organic mushroom farmer! Who would have known! Small Kine Farm is run by our very own Yang (Class XV)!!! This small operation takes green waste from the community and converts it to a growing medium for Hawaii’s only USDA-certified portabella mushrooms. These mushrooms can be found in our local restaurants and even at the Waimānalo Coop.
The tour of Heʻeia fishpond with Hiʻilei Kawelo was a great opportunity for our class to see how native Hawaiian agriculture is being implemented and preserved. The fishpond is maintained by Paepae O Heʻeia, a private non-profit organization dedicated to caring for this ancient Hawaiian fishpond. Although the fishpond is in the process of being restored to its original condition, Hi’ilei’s dream is to one day have the fishpond fully operational and provide the community with seasonal fish. “It’s about learning from the past, to nurture our future,” says Hi’ilei.
Overall this was another great seminar which helped our class to learn about leadership and the diversity of agriculture in Hawaii. Big mahalo to our Oahu team for coordinating this seminar and to Dr. Donna Ching for giving us another tool to help us to become great leaders.